Campeonato Paulista - History - Founding

Founding

Charles Miller was responsible for the creation of the first São Paulo state tournament. Miller introduced the football association rules to Brazil upon his return from England, where he attended college and discovered the sport. On December 14, 1901, the Liga Paulista de Foot-Ball (Paulista Football League), or LPF was founded, comprising five initial teams: São Paulo Athletic Club, Internacional, Mackenzie, Germânia, and Paulistano. Between April and October 1902, those teams competed in the first edition of the tournament, with São Paulo AC winning the title and Miller himself as the leading goalscorer. Unlike in Argentina and Uruguay, football was restricted to elitist clubs in its early days in Brazil.

Football popularity grew in following years. Paulistano, a club composed of the children of the richest families of São Paulo, became the strongest team. However, the popularity base of the sport started to change after a brilliant exhibition tour by the Corinthians, a London amateur team, in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They easily defeated the best Brazilian teams of the time and made a very favorable impression amongst the younger fans. Shortly thereafter, a group of workers were inspired to found the city's first popular team, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.

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